Short-Term Rental Litigation Update

Article by: Joseph C. Reynolds

One of Hutchison & Steffen’s clients is the Greater Las Vegas Short-Term Rental Association, which is a grass-roots nonprofit organization of approximately 700 stakeholders who support short-term rentals in the greater Las Vegas area.

The Rental Association is currently in litigation against Clark County, and seeking declaratory and injunctive relief from a new Ordinance passed last summer governing the licensing of short-term rentals in unincorporated areas. The Ordinance contains numerous provisions that violate the Nevada and United States Constitutions. Licenses to operate are expected to start being issued by Clark County in spring 2023.

On Monday, December 19, 2022, a significant victory for the Rental Association, property rights, and future short-term rental operators and patrons was obtained! The Eighth Judicial District Court agreed with the Rental Association’s arguments that several provisions within the Ordinance were unconstitutionally vague and overly broad.

The District Court granted a preliminary injunction and enjoined part of the Ordinance from implementation. More specifically, the District Court enjoined provisions in the Ordinance that imposed certain criminal liability against patrons and operators and authorized Clark County to enter a short-term rental property without cause or advance notice.

Issues raised in the litigation are of first impression in Nevada, and may ultimately be resolved on appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court.

The Rental Association supports reasonable and balanced regulations over this emerging twenty-first century accommodation model, including licensure and paying fair taxes and fees, but the Ordinance adopted by Clark County goes too far.

We are in a new frontier of policy and law, and jurisdictions throughout the country are addressing novel legal issues being raised. These jurisdictions now include Nevada. The success obtained so far is the first step in what is likely to be a long journey, but the Rental Association will continue to fight, and our firm will continue to advocate for them every step of the way.